By Michael Frayn
The Tony Award—winning play that soars on the intersection of technological know-how and artwork, Copenhagen is an explosive re-imagining of the mysterious wartime assembly among Nobel laureates to debate the atomic bomb.
In 1941 the German physicist Werner Heisenberg made a clandestine journey to Copenhagen to work out his Danish counterpart and pal Niels Bohr. Their interact on quantum mechanics and the uncertainty precept had revolutionized atomic physics. yet now the realm had replaced and the 2 males have been on contrary aspects in an international struggle. Why Heisenberg went to Copenhagen and what he desired to say to Bohr are questions that experience vexed historians ever in view that. In Michael Frayn’s formidable, fiercely clever, and bold new play Heisenberg and Bohr meet once more to debate the intricacies of physics and to consider the metaphysical—the very essence of human motivation.
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A clear relationship between cause and eVect, the sequence of exposition, complication and resolution, is thwarted, as we would expect in a play which makes withheld knowledge not only its theme but also its method. That the second act is so suggestive of a repetition of the first (together with intimations that both ‘days’ might be part of an endless cycle) complicates the relationship of cause and eVect, or the progression from beginning to middle to end, that audiences weaned on the well-made-play would expect.
The boy does not know. The refrain within Lucky’s speech, a parody of academic or philosophical attempts to understand the source of human suVering, is that human beings suVer ‘for reasons unknown’. Here is another echo of 40 The Cambridge Introduction to Samuel Beckett the non-arrival of Godot. Vladimir does not receive an answer to his initial questions about the crucifixion. The mystery remains unsolved. It is not enough simply to declare that Beckett’s characters are ‘innocent’ suVerers. The problem is rather that their crime, the source of their guilt, is elusive.
During the sixties and seventies, Beckett became actively involved in the direction and production of his own work. In 1965, he worked on his film, entitled Film, starring Buster Keaton and directed by his American director friend Alan Schneider. He also wrote a play for television, Eh Joe (1967). In another significant chapter of his intriguing relationship with Germany, Beckett directed a series of his plays, principally at the Schiller Theatre in Berlin (though he also directed in Paris and London).